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Vol. Ill, No. 5, November & December, 2000 


317 


A NEW SPECIES OF AUTOMERIS (LEPIDOPTERA: 
SATURNIIDAE) FROM CENTRAL MEXICO 1 


Manuel A. Balcazar-Lara^ 

ABSTRACT: Automeris michoacana , new species, is described from Michoacan State, Mexico. 
It is differentiated from its nearest allies within the A. io group. 

The study of specimens of satumiids from mid-elevation montane forests 
in central and south Mexico has resulted in the discovery of several new spe- 
cies, with apparently very small ranges. This new' species belongs in the 
Automeris io group proposed by Lemaire (1973), w'ithin the A . iris subgroup 
which includes five described species: A. iris (Walker), A. lernairei 
Beutelspacher, A. boudinotiana Lemaire, A. daudiana Druce, and A. stacieae 
Lemaire & Wolfe (Lemaire. 1986; Beutelspacher B., 1990; Lemaire & Wolfe, 
1993). At least another two species remain to be described within the later 
subgroup which is characterized by the yellow or gray periocellar area and a 
continuous postmedial line on the upper side of the forewings (Lemaire, 1 973; 
Balcazar-Lara, in press). 

Automeris michoacana NEW SPECIES 

(Figs. 1-2) 

Description. Forewing length: Cf 34-37 mm (x= 35.75, n = 4). Male.- Head: salmon color; 
frontal area cinnamon. Labial palpi three-segmented, salmon color. Antennae cinnamon, 
quadripectinate almost to the apex. Thorax: cinnamon; legs cinnamon; tibiae very hairy. Hind 
tibia with one pair of apical spurs. Abdomen: cinnamon, dorsally weakly ringed with reddish. 
Forewing: elongate; dorsally pale pinkish buff. Antemedial line very faint. Postmedial line dark 
brown, straight, continuous; reaching costa about 6-8 mm from apex; not underlined. Submar- 
ginal band absent. Discal spot slightly darker than rest of the wing, surrounded with five to seven 
small black dots. Forewing ventrally cinnamon rufous, with a pale pinkish area along the inner 
side of the wing. Antemedial line absent. Postmedial line clearly marked, reaching costa about 
4-5 mm from apex, dark cinnamon brown, straight. Discal spot strong, black around a small 
white center. Veins slightly clearer than remainder of wing. Hindwing: dorsally pale pinkish 
buff, with a brick red to pinkish area along the inner margin. Postmedial line black, concave. 
Submarginal band cinnamon; basomedial area brick red to pink; costal area pale pinkish; mar- 
ginal area cinnamon rufous; inner side brick red; fringes ferruginous; area between postmedial 
line and submarginal band yellow ocher; ocellus typical of the A. io group, black with central 
diffuse white spot, ventrally cinnamon rufous; costal area same as rest of wing. Postmedial line 
dark cinnamon, convex. Discal spot weak, a small white dot without black; black ring of dorsal 
ocellus weakly visible; veins slightly clearer than the rest of wing. Male genitalia. Uncus very 
prominent, bent ventrally, with five apical folds (very strong and asymmetrical). Uncus with a 


* Received April 5, 2000. Accepted May 1, 2000. 

7 Universidad de Colima, Facultad de Ciencias, Apdo. Postal 25, Av. 25 de Julio #965, Col. 
Villas San Sebastian, Colima, Colima 28000, MEXICO. 

E-mail: mabl@cgic.ucol.mx 

ENT. NEWS 1 1 1(5): 317-321, November & December 2Q0Q. 



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ENTOMOLOGICAL NEWS 


small projection pointing backwards. Valves with two lobes, apical process bent medially, inner 
spine prominent. Gnathos reduced to a subtrapezoidal plate. Saccus very long (narrow). Vincu- 
lum with anterolateral edges prominent. Aedeagus straight, delicate (very short). 

Female. Unknown. 

Type Material. Holotype: C?; Mexico, Michoacan, 3 km S Tacambaro, N 19° 14’ W 101° IT 
30", 1600 m; 14 June 1985; M. Balcazar L. CNIN, Mexico. Paratypes: 3 CfCf; same data as 
holotype. Other specimen examined: ICf; Mexico, Michoacan, Uruapan, “Centro de Estudios 
Forestales”; June 1977. CNIN, Mexico. 

Deposition of types.- The holotype and two paratypes are deposited in the National Collection 
of Insects (CNIN), Instituto de Biologfa, UNAM; one paratype will be deposited in the United 
States National Museum. 

Etymology. This species is named in honor of the Universidad Michoacana de 
San Nicolas de Hidalgo, the university where 1 earned my B.S. when I col- 
lected the type series. 

Distribution.- The known specimens of A. michoacana were collected at an 
elevation of 1600 m in pine-oak forests, with semi-warm climate (annual aver- 
age temperature above 18° C) and a coefficient rainfall/temperature above 55 
(Garcia, 1973). Both known localities are in the Eje Volcanico biogeographic 
province sensu Alvarez & La Chica (1974) on the southern slope, close to the 
Balsas River Basin province (Depresion del Balsas). 

Flight period.- All known specimens were collected in June. 



Fig. 1. Habitus of Automeris michoacana Balcazar, new sp. Holotype C f (forewing length: 37 
mm). 


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Fig. 2. Male genitalia of Automeris michoacana Balcazar, new sp.: A. ventral view, B. Aedeagus, 
vesica everted, bulbus ejaculatorius sectioned. Holotype. (line = 1 mm). 




Fig. 3 . Known distribution of Automeris michoacana Balcdzar, new sp. 


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ENTOMOLOGICAL NEWS 


Key to species of Automeris io group found in Mexico (males). 

1. Postmedial line of forewing upper side continuous 2 

Postmedia] line of forewing upper side lunular 5 

2(1). Forewing elongate 3 

Forewing not elongate 4 

3(2). Antennae rusty yellow; postmedial line of forewing upper side concave; postmedial 
line of forewing upper side proximally underlined with white; postmedial line of 

forewing under side pink Automeris boudinotiana 

Antennae cinnamon; postmedial line of forewing upper side straight; postmedial 
line of forewing upper side not underlined; postmedial line of forewing under side 

dark cinnamon brown Automeris michoacana n. sp. 

4(2). Postmedial line of forewing upper side usually straight; uncus folded; uncus tip, 

distally, as wide as or wider than tegumen Automeris lemairei 

Postmedial line of forewing upper side usually slightly curved basally before reaching 
costa; uncus strongly folded, uncus tip, distally, narrower than tegumen . Automeris iris 
Postmedial line of forewing upper side usually “s” shaped, curved basally towards 
the costa and distally towards the anal margin; uncus not folded . . Automeris daudiana 
Postmedial line of forewing upper side outwardly bent towards the costa; uncus 

slightly folded Automeris stacieae 

5(1). Forewing elongate 6 

Forewing not elongate 8 

6(5). Forewing ventrally cadmium yellow, to buff-yellow; hindwing ventrally yellow, or 

buff yellow 7 

Forewing ventrally clay color to cinnamon rufous; hindwing ventrally clay color to 

cinnamon rufous Automeris hebe 

Forewing ventrally pink; hindwing ventrally pink Automeris eogena 

7(6). Abdomen dull yellow to brownish orange; forewing external margin not oblique; 
submarginal band of forewing upper side absent; veins of hindwing underside same 

color as rest of wing Automeris dandemon 

Abdomen pink to red; forewing external margin slightly oblique; submarginal 
band of forewing upper side lunular; veins of hindwing underside reddish 

pink Automeris melmon 

8(5). Postmedial line of forewing upper side reaching costa about up to 6 mm 

from apex Automeris cole non 

Postmedial line of forewing upper side reaching costa about 7 mm from apex 

or more Automeris io 


Discussion. Automeris michoacana can be separated from other members of 
the A . io group with a continuous postmedial line on the upper surface of the 
forewings by the following combination of characters: more elongate fore- 
wings (the external margin is about three fourths the length of the anal mar- 
gin); and the almost straight postmedial line of the forewing upperside. Most 
specimens of A. lemairei have a straight postmedial line, but they can be sepa- 
rated by the ground color of the forewing which varies from yellow to tan 
color, but is never pale pinkish buff as in A. michoacana . The postmedial line 
of the forewing is slightly curved basally before reaching costa in most speci- 
mens of A. iris ; “s” shaped, curved basally towards the costa and distally 
towards the anal margin in most A. daudiana ; outwardly concave in A. 
boudinotiana ; and outwardly bent towards the costa in A. stacieae. This latter 


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species can be further separated by the more pointed apex of the fore wings. A. 
iris has clearly less elongate forewings than this new species. A. daudiana is 
the largest species in the subgroup. A. boudinotiana lacks the black dots that 
surround the discal spot of the forewings upperside in the rest of the species. 

Within the A. iris subgroup there are three tendencies regarding the uncus: 
in A. boudinotiana and A. daudina the uncus lacks apical folds; A. iris, A . 
lemairei and A. michoacana have a strongly folded uncus; and A. staciei.e is 
intermediate. 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

This paper was possible in pari thanks lo Comision Nacional de Biodiversidad (CONABIO, 
Mexico) gram FB269/h021/96, and Direccion General del Personal Academico, Universidad 
Nacional Aulonoma de Mexico (DGAPA, UNAM) grant IN201497. 

LITERATURE CITED 

Alvarez, T. & F. de Lachica. 1974. Zoogeograffa de los vertebrados de Mexico, pp. 219-275. 
In: El escenario geografico. Recursos naturales. Mexico: Panorama historico y cultural. Vol- 
ume 11. Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico. 

Balcazar-Lara, M. in press. A new Automeris from the Mananllan Reserve in Mexico 
(Salurniidae: Hemileucinae). Fla. Enlomol. 

Beutelspacher B., C. R. 1 990. Una especie nueva mexicana de Automeris Hiibner (Lepidoplera: 
Salurniidae). An. Inst. Biol. UNAM 61:313-316. 

Garcia, K. 1 973. Modificaciones al Sislema de Clasificacion Climatica de Koppen, 2nd Edition. 
Instituto de Geografia, Mexico, D. F. 246 pp. 

Lemaire, C. 1973. Revision du genre Automeris Hiibner el des genres voisins. Biogeographie, 
Ethologie, Morphologie, Taxonomie (Lep. Allacidae) (Suite). Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 
(Paris) Ser. A. Zool. 79:233-422. 

Lemaire, C. 1986. Description d’un nouvel Automeris Mexicain (Lepidoplera, Saturniidae, 
Hemileucinae). Rev. Fr. Enlomol. (N.S.) 8:85-87. 

Lemaire, C. & K. L. Wolfe. 1993. Two new Automeris from western Mexico (Lepidoplera: 
Saturniidae: Hemileucinae). Trop. Lep. 4:39-44.